Wycliffe Historical Information
View of the Power house, mill, burner and yard
Wycliffe had many buildings
The mill pond, mill, power house and burner
Burner and power house
Our BnB is situated on the land once occupied by the Otis Staples Saw Mill . We have a variety of historical pictures of the Wycliffe Sawmill in our B and B for your viewing pleasure.
The Staples Lumber Company of Wycliffe B.C. was foremost among the sawmills of the East Kootenays between 1887 and 1927. The sawmill was built on the banks of the St Marys River at Wycliffe. "It was one of the largest railway logging operations in this area. With headquarters in Wycliffe, the Otis Staples Lumber Company ran spurs over much of the territory on both sides of the Kootenay River." (filesfortsteele.ca/history)
Saw filers room
The log chain conveyor
Steam log crane
Logging methods were suited to the forests of the East Kootenays. Initially, horses pulled logs efficiently. There could also be work in the winter as logs were pulled by horse and sleigh. The logging railway was introduced to haul logs over longer distances. Eventually, a total of 25 miles (40km) of track were in operation by 6 logging railway companies.
The track at Wycliffe was built as narrow guage operations meaning that the distance between the rails was approximately 3 feet (.91m) to 3 feet 6 inches (1.07m). (www.crowsnest.bc.ca/logging)
Shane locomotive Spot three
Steam log crane
Otis Staples owner and man of vision .
The development of the sawmill meant the growth of a town. There was a school for the children, churches, hotels, a dance hall and homes for workers and their families. Quite well known were also the post office , liveries, butcher shops and bakeries. All was not work however as the locals assembled baseball and hockey teams which faired well in local competitions.
Wycliffe original school house and church
Workers at the Staples mill
A 1916 postcard depicting Wycliffe as it was.
The Wycliffe Baseball team 1923.
There are remnants of the old sawmill still to be seen at Wycliffe but all are on private properties. Residents of the area are encouraged to preserve remaining sections of the sawmill.
The Johnson home which was located down stream from the mill across the bridge.
The original highway bridge across the St Marys which was located down stream from the old Wycliffe bridge.
The Power house is one of the last remaining structures of the mill
An overview of the power house building which is now on private land .